Salem Fire Department Chief Mike Niblock with Keizer Fire District volunteer paramedic Samantha Howell, who was honored last week for her quick action to revive a Pioneer Trust Bank customer. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Salem Fire Department Chief Mike Niblock with Keizer Fire District volunteer paramedic Samantha Howell, who was honored last week for her quick action to revive a Pioneer Trust Bank customer. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

A volunteer paramedic with Keizer Fire District was honored for her life-saving efforts in Salem last week.

On Jan. 2, Samantha Howell, an employee of Pioneer Trust Bank in Salem and a KFD volunteer, was working when a 78-year-old man collapsed and stopped breathing.

Howell immediately started CPR and directed staff members at the bank to use the automatic external defibrillator (AED) that was in place at the bank while emergency responders from the Salem Fire Department and Rural Metro Ambulance were en route.

With the help of bank co-workers Mary Ann Vansend, Kellie Alexander, John Willburn, Lisa Edmiston, Marianne Alexander and Pilar Olivera, Howell was able to perform CPR and successfully defibrillate the victim, restoring his pulse and breathing within three minutes.

Emergency responders arrived and continued patient care while transporting the man to Salem Hospital where he underwent cardiac surgery and was later released.

SFD Chief Mike Niblock met with the bank employees and presented letters of commendation and Salem Fire challenge coins, acknowledging their life-saving actions and teamwork. Niblock highlighted the bank employees’ actions as a part of the chain of survival in a cardiac emergency. He also recognized Pioneer Trust Bank for their demonstrated commitment to community safety by maintaining an AED and training their employees in CPR.

“Immediate recognition of the emergency, coupled with quick 9-1-1 notification, early CPR, and early defibrillation, are foundational in the survival of cardiac arrest,” he said.